Singleness, Settling, and Waiting for “The One”
Engagement season is here. Fall weddings are beginning. Women in serious relationships are wondering, “will he ever propose?” and anxiously trying to bring up the “e question” casually. And singles are left wondering, “Will it ever be my turn?” “Will I ever meet the One?”
I’ve been in your shoes.
The fall of 2008 and 2009 I lived across the globe in CHINA and let’s just say I know how it feels to feel left out when it comes to relationships and watching others date, get engaged, and tie the knot. Not to mention all my lonely college years watching friends hop from boyfriend to boyfriend.
Last fall, I had more manicures combined than I have had in my entire life. I was sure Michael would propose in June when we were in Germany, and then in July when he came back to visit, and then on our 1 year anniversary. But all those perfect opportunities came and went and my manicured left hand did not glisten in the sun. Finally in November, I stopped visiting Nail Talk and Tan for both my wallet and my sanity’s sake. I was over it. I drove to Charlotte to visit Michael one weekend–chewed on my chipped nails the entire way–and guess when he proposed? November 6. He woke me up early on Saturday morning, (in a bow-tie) and finally put a ring on my neglected left hand. Joy.
What do I wish someone gently told me then (even though I probably wouldn’t have listened)? Your singleness will be a blip on the screen of your life. Don’t waste this time. It may feel like a curse, but it’s a gift.
Singleness may feel unending, but I promise it won’t last forever. Use this time to investigate areas of your life that need a change, in essence preparing yourself for marriage. You are worth it: Don’t settle for less than the absolute best. It may feel like torture to attend one more wedding, buy one more bridesmaid dress, or spend one more year alone–but your time will come. I promise. Until then? Meet as many people as you can. Make that your goal this fall. Try out new groups–give online dating a try–attend more parties–whatever ways you can find to meet more people. Most of the couples I know met through mutual friends (don’t be opposed to blind dates) or through websites like eHarmony or Match.com.
Don’t settle for dating the wrong person out of fear the right one will never come along. God hasn’t forgotten you. He parted the red sea, brought down the walls of an entire city with trumpets, and raised Jesus from the dead. Bringing you your soul mate won’t take a miracle.
This afternoon, Michael and I drove downtown to Crema today–a “coffee brewtique”–to spend uninterrupted (i.e. no phones), quality time together. We started this Sunday tradition a couple of weeks ago in effort to set aside time to work on our relationship and be intentional with each other every week. We laugh a lot together. As we sipped our coffee in the oversized leather chairs, I reflected on the man sitting in front of me and how he is the greatest blessing in my life. If I could only have one day with him or a lifetime with Mr. Wrong, I would choose him every time. I do believe in soul mates. The best part of marriage is that he know me and loves me despite all the dark and messy areas in my life. You don’t want to do this with the wrong guy.
Your time will come. Trust me. And you’ll look back on all the longing of singleness and think to yourself: “Of course I’m not a cat lady.” Promise.
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- What if I Never Get Married? The Feared Call of Singleness
- How *Not to Help All the Single Ladies | A Clarification
- Fistful of Ashes | What are You Holding?
- When It Isn’t Clear He’s ‘the One’